HSUS ads spotlight gestation-sow stalls

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click image to zoomHumane Society of the US The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has initiated a web-based ad campaign this week that targets U.S. pork producers using gestation-sow stalls.

The ad zeroes in on a recent comment that a National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) spokesperson made regarding gestation stall housing.

click image to zoomHSUS ad Specifically, the National Journal reported in a July 24 website article that the NPPC staffer, said: “So our animals can’t turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets…I don’t know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around.”

The quote went on: “The only real measure of their well-being we have is the number of piglets per birth, and that’s at an all-time high.”

The National Journal is a news publication for policymakers in Washington, D.C.

Wayne Pacelle, HSUS chief executive officer, said in his blog, that the ad campaign “exposes the pork industry for being in the backwater of animal welfare.”

HSUS also is its members to use social media to post and pass on the anti-gestation-stall ads.

click image to zoomHSUS ad “In addition to working with leading food companies, legislators and scientists, HSUS is also ramping up our work to show the public how out-of-step pork industry leaders are with mainstream thinking about how animals ought to be treated, and the negative impact that will have on farmers,” Matthew Prescott, HSUS food policy director, told PorkNetwork. “The ad mentioned in Wayne’s blog is one example.” He indicated that HSUS has made other recent placements online, which are “getting a lot of positive feedback and traction.”

In response to the quote in the National Journal article, Neil Dierks, NPPC chief executive officer said, “On behalf of the National Pork Producers Council, I sincerely regret the recent comments in a news article that were attributed to an employee of the National Pork Producers Council. The comments were inappropriate and do not represent the views of our organization nor do they reflect the values of the hardworking American farmers who produce safe and nutritious pork for consumers around the world. Our nation’s pork producers take great pride in their long-standing commitment to the highest standards of humane care for animals. They are good people with good values. They care deeply for the animals they raise and make their health and well-being a top priority.”

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Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 07, 2012 at 04:54 PM

Too little too late, Neil Dierks, nor am I buying your apology. Thanks to Pig Flesh Network for posting the ads. I'll be sure to use social media to post and pass on the anti-gestation-stall ads.

Mark FitzSimmons DVM    
Minnesota  |  August, 08, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Hi Ms Weeks. We realize as a vegan you will not except anything but the complete extinction of the food animal industry so your not buying the apology is of no surprise to any of us. So post away but as we continue to expose your extreme agenda to remove meat from the public list of choices the people will see that your level of welfare does not include a "stall free" pork industry it only is satisfied with a "meatless plate", no egg on your muffin and no milk for your cereal. We too will continue to fight for the welfare of the animals and the rights of the consumer to CHOOSE animal products in their diets instead of having you push your (HSUS) agenda via a regulatory methods. It is important for all reading here that this is not about "loose housing" or a sows ability to turn around it is about the extinction of the food animal industry. The people at the top of any of these organizations will not except that the sows in pens will fight and injure themselves and others because then they will just says we should not have them in pens either. Consumer choice versus Ms Weeks choosing for us that is the question. Ms Weeks still waiting to hear what your occupation is?

Marvin smith    
Iowa  |  August, 08, 2012 at 08:50 AM

In feeding sows before farrowing, it is a limited amount so sows do not become to fat. Therefore there is a lot of biting one another. In the individual stall that is completely removed. Sows are therefore much more content and less fighting. Do the humane people want scarred and agitated sows?

Dr. Mauck    
Sullivan, IL  |  August, 08, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Marvin: What the so-called humane people want is NO SOWS. They want to destroy animal agriculture. They do not want what they call humane farming; their goal is to completely eliminate all ag that involves animals. Anyone with one eye and half sense knows that sows and the humans that work around them are much safer when the sows are in crates where they will not attack other sows and farm workers. The humane society types don't care about this. They simply wish to throw up roadblocks in front of the farmer and to make farming as expensive as possible so that animal ag will cease to exist.

Laurella Desborough    
Florida  |  August, 08, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Yes. We have seen the results of the anti-agriculture efforts of these organizations. After their push for a special amendment to the Florida Constitution, the large pork producers in Florida closed up shop. That is the goal of these vegans. No more meat production for the public. They will use every argument and every photo to convince the public that farmers are abusing animals. As long as members of the public know so little about what is appropriate for the animals, then they will buy into the abuse lies. The end result will be higher prices at the grocery store IF you can find pork in the meat section. We are seeing members of two percent of the population of the US, the vegans, trying to impose their belief system on the 98 percent of the public.

doug williams    
usa  |  August, 08, 2012 at 11:59 AM

her "occupation" is being a vegan.. and supporting "Pig Flesh Network".. meanwhile Pacelle continues to bluster and blubber about being "misquoted" all of the time.. poor man .. LOL

Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM

I can't imagine why it's so critically important to you, Mr. DVM, to know my occupation, but for what it's worth, I am an editor at California State University, Sacramento. There, satisfied? And, by the way, my "agenda" is hardly "extreme," as more and more people are finding out the horrific ways in which factory farmed animals are treated and how badly factory farms ruin the environment and how unhealthful animal flesh and animal secretions are in the human body and how wasteful of natural resources is the whole system of raising animals to feed humans. Many people are moving freely and far more conscientiously to a vegan diet and way of life: For Animals; For Humanity; For Earth. Here in a nutshell are the many reasons more and more people are Choosing Vegan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE&feature=share Thanks for the opportunity to share. :)

John Doppler Schiff    
USA  |  August, 08, 2012 at 02:05 PM

Y'know what, guys? I'm not vegan, and I agree with Janet. Humane treatment of animals is not "extreme" or "radical", and it is not the "extinction of the food animal industry". Unless, of course, your industry relies on abuse and cruelty to remain viable, which increasingly appears to be the case. NPPC doesn't regret those comments: they regret getting caught. And they don't regret the cruelty exposed again and again in pork production: they regret getting caught. You can't hide in the dark forever. Sooner or later, someone is going to shine a light on you and expose your operation. Wouldn't it make more sense to have an operation you can be proud of, and not have to hide from those meddling activists and their pesky cameras?

Amanda Katz    
Ohio  |  August, 08, 2012 at 02:29 PM

Mr. FitzSimmons - You can't be serious. The extinction of the food animal industry?? The food animal industry allowed sows to turn around for *centuries* and has remained quite alive. It is only within the past couple of decades that intense confinement became widespread. How is allowing the sow to turn around going to cause the death of the food industry? It is not us, who seek only that animals be allowed to express the behaviors they evolved over millions of years to express, who are extreme. It is YOU who want to deny everything that millions of years of evolution has created. THAT is extreme. And you talk about the vegan agenda. You want to know who is turning people vegan more effectively than the HSUS could ever do? It's YOU. I used to love bacon, but I refuse to eat pork of any sort because of YOUR industry standards. You claim you put pigs in gestation crates for their own welfare. Sorry, that doesn't pass the sniff test. Animals have muscles for the purpose of MOVING. It is inhumane on the face of it to immobilize them practically for life. I have not eaten pork since learning about standard practices in your industry. You want your consumers back? Stop trying to deny the problems and FIX them. It's not that difficult of a concept. And by the way, before you preach on about what the people at the top of HSUS want, perhaps you should meet one of them -- the HSUS director of outreach who happens to be a PIG farmer - http://www.humanesociety.org/about/leadership/subject_experts/joe_maxwell.html

Florida  |  August, 08, 2012 at 02:37 PM

Congratulations on finally cracking the code...animal rights individuals and animal welfare advocates do NOT want animals enslaved, raped, and slaughtered to inefficiently provide food to a starving world. They want the animal agriculture industry to convert to plant-based agriculture to help feed a starving planet that the current system could in no way do. It's kinda like the tobacco industry...why produce crops that harm humans when better alternatives are available? Or the slave trade...why capture, own, mistreat and deny freedoms to a being you judge inferior when...besides it being morally and ethically wrong...there are alternatives that would allow another option? We don't need to treat animals like this...except to make a buck. Which, I'm sure, was the same objective as the tobacco farmer and the slave owner.

USA  |  August, 08, 2012 at 02:42 PM

Yes, the vegan agenda (list of things to do) includes ending animal agriculture - that's no big secret. They want a healthy earth, safe and ethical and abundant food for everyone, and compassion for all species. Ooh, those evil vegans! Is it really so hard to conceive that young, intelligent, pregnant animals, with hormones raging, would fight against being crowded and enslaved - being made into baby-making machines, only to have their babies stolen away, unable to nurture or protect them? Does that justify putting them into steel prisons for months on end? Does the mere appetite of human beings justify this monumental horror known as factory farming? The ONLY wish I have for people engaged in animal agriculture is for they themselves to have to live in the same circumstances they inflict on animals. They would then be living (and dying) in a hell beyond their wildest imagining. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And choose mercy, I beg of you.

Susan Willard    
anywhere  |  August, 08, 2012 at 02:59 PM

No surprise to see a veterinarian defending inhumane factory farming practices. After all the AVMA found that workers who bashed piglets head into concrete flooring were humanely euthanizing those animals. A man has a hard time seeing when his wallet gets in the way. Shame on Dr. FitzSimmons and shame on the AVMA. How ironic that a man of science who one presumes learned research skills while in school repeats the lies against the HSUS from the discredited Richard Beman and his dozens of corporate funded front groups.

August, 08, 2012 at 02:59 PM

As for your *no egg on your muffin and no milk for your cereal,* Mr. DVM (who, I might add, condones smashing piglets' head to the ground in order to "euthanize" them) here's the good news: 1 T ground flax seed mixed with 3 T water makes an excellent, cholesterol-free, fiber- and nutrient-rich, cruelty-free egg replacer in all baked goods; and delicious, low fat, cholesterol-free, cruelty-free plant-based milks are in abundance for your breakfast cereal and coffee. There's soy, hemp, rice, almond, and coconut milks all readily available in most progressive grocery stores. Enjoy an ice-cold glass today! They are vegan naturally.

John B    
August, 08, 2012 at 09:25 PM

"Our nation’s pork producers take great pride in their long-standing commitment to the highest standards of humane care for animals." It has been my experience that the commitment to "the highest standard of humane care" stems from, and considers financial interests only. To say they "care for animals deeply" is just hard to swallow except for perhaps in a very small minority. It makes for a great sound bite, but that is about it. Gestation crates are not in the best interest of the animal but rather the farmer.

John B    
August, 08, 2012 at 09:38 PM

Extreme agenda? Anything position that does not support agribusiness would be considered extreme to you it seems. What I find particularly insidious is agribusiness passing off that the slamming of the the head of piglet into concrete is considered an acceptable means of "euthanasia". If you showed footage of one of your "caring" farmers killing piglets in this fashion as your customers passed the meat counter what do you think they would say? If you feel this and other common practices that you and your kind get furious over when it is exposed via an investigation show you customers. Run an ad on prime time television showing tail docking, testicle removal, and of course the favored means of getting rid of the runts. You make me sick covering up this behavior and supporting it. And for what...money? I feel sorry for you.

Jerry Foster    
Missouri  |  August, 09, 2012 at 07:47 AM

Ms. Katz, I have met Joe Maxwell. He is, first and foremost, an attorney and former politician. He has only been an agent of HSUS for the few recent years. Before you hold him out as an example "PIG farmer" I suggest that YOU visit his farms and also talk with the neighbors to his farms. I think you will find that the public persona is quite different from the applied practices.

kansas  |  August, 09, 2012 at 07:57 AM

Good for you Mark! Time to call out all of the hate and fear mongering HSUS/PETA Trolls who spew their sanctimonious, pseudo-science and pseudo-religious crap here and in other forums. She's most likely a paid Troll, as you imply, but will never admit it. Lies and deceit, rummed-up with logic-free gushings of pure sentimentalism, are the heart and sould of the HSUS and their ilk. While Pacelle and Co. slobber over the 10$ of Million$ from donors they're diverting to personal retirement funds and salaries, tools like Weeks promote and defend their propaganda campaigns. There is no reasoning with or educating these anti-humanist luddites, only heaping scorn and ridicule on them and their mindless perversions of the concept of stewardship.

Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 09, 2012 at 09:19 AM

Michael, bravo and bully for you! You pulled out all the stops in your insults--you really showed those ethical vegans and compassionate animal-rights folks. I'll bet you're mighty proud of yourself and your ability to use the dictionary to find the most scathing words possible. But again, WHAT IS YOUR DEFENSE of smashing piglets' heads to the ground to *euthanize* them, or any of the other cruel procedures you perform on animals, unanesthetized ear notching, tail docking, teeth clipping, testicle removing, intensively confining, and worse, in order to reap the greatest profit despite the pain and suffering you cause? Why are you beating around the bush? I'll tell you why: When someone has NO DEFENSE for their egregious behavior, they resort to personal attacks against the whistleblowers. Problem is, you don't hurt the whistleblowers--hey, we're tougher than that, we can take your grade-school bullying and verbal lashings. You hurt only yourself and your fellow factory farmers. John Q. Public sees right through your pathetic attempts.

kansas  |  August, 09, 2012 at 09:26 AM

Are you a New Troll here USA guy? Or just another sock puppet of Pacelles' Troll Horde? And who cares if you're a vegan or would believe what you say here, considering your Ends Justify Means tactics? Anyone who defends or sides with these extremist radicals and spews Hide In The Darkness drek is a friend of the enemy. Return to your echo chamber of post-human, animal worship group-think.

Susan Willard    
everywhere  |  August, 09, 2012 at 09:30 AM

Nobody spews pseudo-science quite like a factory farm cheerleading squad. Industrial ag is inhumane, unsustainabe, toxic to consumers, toxic to the air, water, depletes our soil and destroys our ecosystems. Yet you defenders and cheerleaders call us luddites while cheering for a system that cannot survive unless it continues to receive welfare from taxpayers and pur EPA and USDA continue to ignore the damage industrial ag is doing to our planet. Get a clue, Michael. We don't buy your crap and we are educating consumers to the real costs of your toxic goods. That's what you hate about HSUS and PETA. They're large enough, effective and have the expertise to run you and your factory farm cheerleading squad off the field.

kansas  |  August, 09, 2012 at 09:33 AM

I'm a troll, i'm a troll, i'm a troll-troll. Continue the Chant, trolls! Slave Trade? Really? Feed A Starving Planet of what - dogs and cats? Eliminationists Unite! End Humanity's Cruel Planetary Domination and be the first to volunteer for self-deletion from the eco-system! Won't you please put an end to your part in the filthy human infestation of our goddess Gaia. ....yes, we've cracked your code psycho-babblers.

kansas  |  August, 09, 2012 at 09:38 AM

Your ONLY wish, Troll? Ursula wishes that we OTHERS in Ag live in her fevered imaginings of a Hell of her own invention. Pretty common amongst those who Hate the Other in our species. Hate speech, hate mongering, panic-mongering, Eliminationism and all that goes with Your Kind. (i.e., the 2% of world population that wishes to dominate and destroy all those who disagree with them - Tyranny of Minority)

kansas  |  August, 09, 2012 at 09:50 AM

No Surprise to see an avalanche of comments from Trolls of the vegan ALFish terroists and hate mongers on the extreme left either. Especially the verbally and otherwise violent ones, with their nasty oafish ad hominem attacks. All the lies, deceit and snarky, sophomoric innuendo from ANYWHERE? (you're a coward, right?), is no surprise either. Oh, and Richard Beman has been Discredited? By whom - Wayne Pacelle and Ingrid Newkirk, those respected scientists extrodinaire? Sod off you ignorant radical twit.

Susan Willard    
anywhere  |  August, 09, 2012 at 01:05 PM

Channeling Christian Bale, Michael? Berman has been exposed as the shill in a suit that he is, by 60 Minutes, Rachel Maddow, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, PR Watch, Sourcewatch, ABC news, CBS news, the LA times No credible journalist or scientist will use Berman as a source. Intelligent people are fully aware that a PR person hired by known and unknown corporate sponsors is not a credible source. So pull up your knee socks Michael and shake those pom-poms. Factory farming good, Pacelle and Newkirk bad! Rah! Rah! Rah!

usa  |  August, 09, 2012 at 01:38 PM

people are decent and will not support cruelty. the cruel practices adopted over the last few decades will have to be eliminated if the industry is to have a future. don't underestimate the consumer--they will not support this horrid cruelty.

Planet Earth  |  August, 09, 2012 at 02:25 PM

Michael, congratulations! Methinks YOU are the only vegan troll in this forum - there is no way anyone in the pork industry could do such a thorough job of making you all look like unreasonable raving maniacs, so kudos! As for me, I have little hope of cracking the armor of speciesism and indifference to suffering amongst the readership of this publication, so I will take my views and experiences where they are likely to do the most good - among the gentle, caring, loving people of this world who recognize and appreciate sentience in other beings. And, just for the record - pork was the first meat I gave up as well. Your lies aren't working, and the truth is too horrible to contemplate. Many people like me, once they know the truth, will refuse to contribute financially just so others can continue to torture and kill pigs. And as for me hating and wishing you ill - all I wished for was the same level of comfort and care that you lovingly bestow on pigs. If that is construed as hate-mongering, well then, I guess SOMETHING is keeping you up at night. My guess would be guilt. But you are still alive and able to change your life for the better. Here's hoping you do.

Mary Finelli    
Maryland  |  August, 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM

Anyone who questions the need for a pig to be able to move enough to even just turn around for 2.5 years is being blatantly ignorant of exercise physiology. This is obvious to any sensible person, let alone a veterinarian. Shame on any veterinarian -or anyone else, for that matter- who supports the use of gestation crates. Support it all you want, the public will not buy it. They are inhumane, they need to be criminalized.

David Bernazani    
Lafayette, CA  |  August, 09, 2012 at 02:40 PM

Mr. FitzSimmons, Speaking of occupations, I find it hard to believe that you are really a DVM when you don't even know the difference between "accept" and "except", two common words of very different meanings that an average sixth grader could spell correctly. I also doubt that a doctor of veterinary medicine would present such a defensive stance, lashing out at Ms. Weeks as a "vegan" and saying scare tactics like that she and the HSUS have an "agenda" to bring about "the extinction" of your industry. You sound much more like a farmer who is simply too lazy or greedy to spend a little money and change his sow housing to a less cruel one than a veterinarian. And if you really ARE a vet, then as a licensed vererinary technician I'm disappointed in you on several levels.

Jersey Shore  |  August, 09, 2012 at 04:46 PM

While the agriculture community is correct in calling out the HSUS for being a morally bankrupt, greedy and hypocritical special interest group, you feed into Pacelle's pathology with the type of statements made to the National Journal. Wayne loves responding with moral indignation, milking any insensitive comments by animal use "profiteers" for every ounce of publicity, animal rights campaign themes, and donated dollars he can, for as long as he can. Pacelle uses more war terminology in his self-righteous polemics than the military. He's always combating, confronting, battling, defeating, winning victories. He is obsessed with attacking "purveyors of cruelty" and anyone who challenges him, including countless animal welfare advocates and organizations. Why hand him ammunition? This is a person who continues to defend Michael Vick, has extensive business dealings with scandal-plagued fundraising companies, brazenly lies about the number of members HSUS has, and spends taxpayer subsidized donations defending against RICO lawsuits. Among other things. Don't hand him the moral high ground. Avoid falling into the traps he sets for you. Fight back with the documented truth about HSUS.

Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 09, 2012 at 05:43 PM

"Cases of a new swine flu variety so far this year have soared from 16 last week to 165!" "The new flu is not a food-borne illness. You cannot get it from eating pork, only from being around sick pigs, says Joseph Bresee of the CDC's influenza division." http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-08-09/swine-flu-cases/56915084/1 More than 120,000,000 pigs are killed for food in the U.S. each year. All of them are sick due to intensive confinement and overcrowding on factory farms. These sick animals are given massive doses of drugs just to keep them alive until they reach slaughter weight (about 4 mos. to a year old) but the fact remains: they are sick! The current US population is 314,126,440 people. That's one pig for every 2.6 persons living in the US at any given time. We are literally living cheek to jowl with sick pigs and their infected waste! When will the CDC (and factory farmers) recognize the fact that factory farming is the cause of these ever-more virulent outbreaks of swine flu? The answer is to dismantle factory farms and reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal flesh posthaste.

August, 09, 2012 at 06:09 PM

Pat, I cannot believe the hypocrisy and gall of someone acting outraged about Mike Vick while defending factory farmers. Raping, bashing piglets heads on concrete floors, castration and other mutilations without anesthesia and follow up pain management is okay if you're doing it to billions of pigs a year not so much if you're doing it to dozens of dogs. Pat where are your morals?

Jersey Shore  |  August, 09, 2012 at 07:38 PM

To 98766616: I've got your other number and it's the old "anyone that criticizes HSUS is pro-factory farming, loves puppy mills and slaughtering baby seals" defense. Gimme a break, I am in no way defending factory farmers. I am a big supporter of the Humane Farming Association and agree with their stance on the Rotten Egg Bill and their opinion of Wayne P. I am a big admirer of the No Kill Advocacy Center and agree with their criticism of HSUS as well. HSUS's deal with UEP maintains the factory farming status quo, helping Pacelle's political career at the expense of the animals. He's made similar deals in the past for similar reasons. None have succeeded. Animal organizations that use deception to get donations, are involved in multiple scandals and are the subject of lawsuits and government investigations give all animal advocates a bad name. Speaking of Michael Vick, HSUS's fraudulent fundraising "for the Vick dogs" nearly wrecked the case against him. HSUS lied to the Virginia State Attorney in order to get a photo op with the dogs for fundraising purposes. "Dubious Deals at HSUS" details that debacle. Pacelle and wacko Goodwin lobbied to get the dogs declared too dangerous to live while fundraising off their plight. Talk about hypocrisy and gall. I'm not "acting outraged" at Vick. He has no morals and neither does the senior leadership at HSUS. The HSUS partnership with Vick is disgusting - all about marketing, money and celebrity. Even the ASPCA recently spoke out, fiercely criticizing Vick's latest image polishing spree. By the way, using the word "raping" and "billions of pigs a year" in the same sentence does not enhance your credibility. I'll be donating to HFA this week.

Seattle  |  August, 09, 2012 at 09:55 PM

I will always eat meat but I will never buy pork or any meat that comes from a farm that treats their animals inhumanely. We should have the decency to have compassion for the animals that we raise for meat. I support HSUS. I am not a Vegan and I don't have an agenda to put an end to the meat industry. Many people seem to think that if you care for the well being of animals, then you want to completely eliminate the meat industry which is false in many cases. I want animals to be treated humanely. I would like to see the production of less meat. Most of us eat too much meat, but I don't want to see the elimination of meat production. Many people that label those of us that actually care for the well being of animals as radicals are just doing that as tactic to win an argument by labeling HSUS as radicals. Just have some respect for the animals that are raised for meat and then there wont be so much controversy in the meat industry right now.

Susan Willard    
anywhere  |  August, 10, 2012 at 12:05 AM

You're right Pat. I meant billions of farm animals are killed every year. I'm right about rape. Farmers affectionately call them rape racks. The brutal, but accurate, industry term referring to the contraptions in which cows and pigs are restrained while they are forcibly inseminated. I understand that Vick used one too. I wish I lived in the world that Pat and the HFA live in. Then I could sit on my ass, do nothing, criticize the organizations and people who are actually making a difference, and say "oh you're not doing enough." HSUS is getting hens out of battery cages. It isn't full freedom the chickens but it sure as hell beats the battery cages. What were you and HFA doing while HSUS was hammering out an agreement. Oh, that's right. You were standing on the high moral ground bashing others BTW, you and Wino are using Berman corporate funded attack campaign as a source for your attacks on HSUS. It's no wonder Wino is the darling of Berman, Patti Strand of the National Animal Interest Alliance, and the AKC's High Volume Breeders Committee(think puppy mills, Pat) the largest source of revenue for the AKC. The HSUS and Humane Society International received four stars, the highest rating, from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator is the nation’s foremost independent charity evaluator. Worth Magazine named The HSUS one of the nation's 10 most fiscally responsible charities, Philanthropedia, surveying nearly 170 animal protection experts, ranked The HSUS as the top nonprofit with the highest impact for animals. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance approves The HSUS for meeting or exceeding all 20 standards for charity accountability.

harriman, utah  |  August, 10, 2012 at 12:32 AM

Well said, Dustin! There are a lot of us who care for the well-being of animals, and are definitely not anti-farmer or radicals. We just want the animals to be raised with respect and compassion. Why is that so hard for the animal farming industry to understand? And it isn't a bad thing for us all to eat less meat, there is lots of research to back up the fact that it is healthier. That doesn't mean that we want to see animals become extinct, or the whole world to be vegan, or any of the other stupid accusations you throw at everyone who expresses concern for animals. These crates are cruel. There is no way you can convince us that they are not. You wouldn't want to live like this for even a day. And if you were forced to, it would be called torture. It is time for farming to change.

Dale Schmitz    
Indiana  |  August, 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Unhealthful she says !! I am sure all of our wonderful USA athletes in London trained for the olympics using VEGAN diets. Cause it's odviously healthier !!

Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

These Olympians trained and performed for the Olympics on VEGAN or VEGETARIAN diets: http://www.ecorazzi.com/2012/07/27/top-10-historic-vegetarian-and-vegan-olympians/ Not to mention, the ill-effects of an animal-based diet are cumulative and most, if not all, Olympians are young and haven't yet had their bodies ravaged by the diseases caused by animal fat and bad cholesterol.

Dale Schmitz    
Indiana  |  August, 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

HSUS has never put a meal on my plate, I think I will continue to trust the individuals that are feeding this world.

Dale Schmitz    
Indiana  |  August, 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Okay, fair enough, there have been some who are. Percentages look about right, 2-3 % out of thousands of athletes over the years. Which means the other 98% must all be un-educated jocks who are too dumb to eat right. I guess I am with them, will go home tonight and have my BLT and pick out my casket !!

Dale Schmitz    
Indiana  |  August, 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

All of them are sick due to intensive confinement and overcrowding on factory farms. These sick animals are given massive doses of drugs just to keep them alive until they reach slaughter weight Where do you get your facts? I know many hog producers that give no drugs to their pigs at all, except maybe to a few young ones to keep them alive, just like humans do. Secondly, using your rationale, they should never get sick cause all they eat are a vegetarian diet consisting of grains and minerals. They aren't eating any meat so they should be as fit as a fiddle.

Dale Schmitz    
Indiana  |  August, 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM

How many of you disparing the use of gestation crates have ever seen first hand what happens when a group of sows are put together for the first time ? It is not a pretty sight, you talk about animals expressing themselves, see how a larger sow expresses herself to a smaller one when you put them in a group setting. Let us go to the next step, that larger sow once she has inflicted her dominance on the smaller one, will continually eat the smaller ones share of the feed that is provided. Basically, somewhat starving the smaller animal. Lastly, let us not forget about the workers who tend to the animals, these are 500 pound animals that we are dealing with here. But so be it if a few workers get hurt or injured, as long as the sow is happy.

Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Watch CNN's Jane Velez-Mitchell report on MFA's new undercover investigation of animal abuse at Walmart pork supplier. http://bit.ly/OVGxHD

kansas  |  August, 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Janet - ETHICAL VEGANS? You self-righteous, sanctimonious, self-absorbed and ignorant twit. You Defend a pack of proven, exposed liars and hate-spewing, violent (ALF), radical extremists who finance their lawfare and legis-wars by deceiving donors into thinking they're supporting animal shelters. I was born and reared on a family owned and operated diversified crop and livestock farm that included a farrow-to-finish hog business. And YOUR deep and morally superior understanding of the Modern Agriculture Business, that feeds the billions on this earth, comes from what and where? I personally have committed all the ?Crimes? you and your completely ignorant and real-life disconnected fringe minority condemn - for very good, logical, and animal-friendly reasons from the time I was 8 or 9. You and your lunatic fringe suffer from delusions of moral granduer and disgust me and any informed John Q. with any true sense of how our eco-system and world works. Oh, and I have a degree in English Literature from a respected non-Ag related university - filled with intellectually challenged vegans and liberal fascists with inflated egos like yourself. Again, you can all return to your drum and chant circles to worship Gaia and share your group-think feelings of superiority.

Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 10, 2012 at 12:01 PM

But again, Michael, WHAT IS YOUR DEFENSE of smashing piglets' heads to the ground to *euthanize* them?

kansas  |  August, 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Susan - Oooo, Christian Bale! How marvelously sophisticated, cultured and elitist of you to throw that out in an Ag forum. The MSM and INTELLIGENT PEOPLE (like YOU I assume) are the gullible tools of the fraud-gods in fake charities like HSUS, PETA, etc., etc. ad nauseum. Useful Idiots is the term usually applied by your handlers, I believe. Your faith in these alleged and self-annointed Credible Sources, notorious for doctoring tapes, out of context editing and various other forms of Advocacy Psedo-Reporting, shows your willful ignorance and deep dependence on the echo-chamber lifestyle. Your very use of the anti-farming, anti-business and anti-human cults' Invented Demonization Term - Factory Farming - demonstrates your group-think co-dependency. And please, knee socks pom poms and so forth? So childish coming from a sophisticated Troll of superior intelligence like yourself.

kansas  |  August, 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Ursula - Reality calling PLANET EARTH!... METHINKS? You and Your Fellow Travelers here are using terms like SLAVERY and TORTURE here to describe a component of FOOD production that has been part of civilization for 10s of Thousands of Years, and you think I sound like an unreasonable raving maniac? And your repugnant sarcasm regarding your hatefulness toward livestock producers, demonstrated in your wish for me to be Tortured and Killed, is not mitigated by your clearly insincere adolescent snark on guilt, sleeplessness and hope for some sort of moral awakening and salvation. Re-read your words and look in the mirror. You ARE a violence loving minority fascist who simply wishes to inflict your will and beliefs on me by whatever means necessary. Oh, and don't be such a coward. Tell us where you live so that we may know how well connected to the Natural Environment and Food Sources you are. Why be coy when you're wishing pain, suffering and death upon your opponents?

kansas  |  August, 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Thanks for the pompous, self-important spelling lesson David! Web discussions tend to be Conversational and are rarely graded for gramatical errors, so we all really appreciate having someone intelligent like yourself to police us and make nasty, insulting comments about errors. Oh, and your ability to interpret and reconstruct the True Meaning of statements, the Psychological Profile of the speaker and their Hidden Agenda speaks volumes about your psychic abilties as well. For your edification, I AM a farmer, and I DO have an English degree, and I AM deeply disappointed in your arrogant sophistry combined with baseless ad hominem attacks sourced from your own bias, bigotry and ignorant self-righeousness. Oh, as a Licensed Veterinary Technician, what sort of food animals are you deeply experienced and involved with? Pomeranians and Persians perhaps?

kansas  |  August, 10, 2012 at 01:08 PM

Pat - Thank you for the good advice, but I would disagree in a small way. Allowing Pacelle and his cult to establish the allowable language and terms that can be used in debate gives him an advantage. Just as other radical minorities and fringe groups have managed to twist and demonize common terms and approaches in a variety of businesses and social categories, so have the radical animal rights groups pursued the classical sophistry of redefining terms to make them unacceptable and evil. Playing the game of Political Correctness and Sensitivity, in the terms allowed by the enemy, weakens. Practical considerations of a business that have NO Moral Component, suddenly become Acts of Evil simply because the language abuser says so. In our current political climate, for example, anyone objecting to anything to do with POTUS or Islam or.. or.. will be smeared as a racist, bigot or some other immoral hater. We must not allow our language to be hi-jacked by cynical manipulators. Being Insensitive is most commonly in the eye of the beholder, who's often ignorant of the context - sometimes willfully ignorant.

kansas  |  August, 10, 2012 at 01:14 PM

More Lies and Junk Science from The Cult. THIS makes ME sick. When will the CDC recognize that the slavish devotees of Cults abusively misinterpret their findings to support their radical agenda and eliminate this cause of my sickness?

kansas  |  August, 10, 2012 at 01:18 PM

98766616 - Where are your morals? Really, where? You're such a galling coward, a sanctimonious hypocritical coward, that you cannot reveal a name or location when judging others' morality. Are you wearing a hood or mask and gloves while you type this pitiful drek too?

kansas  |  August, 10, 2012 at 01:37 PM

But Again - Janet V - You really don't get it do you,,, you deeply troubled, poorly educated and completely disconnected from the natural environment and your omivorous roots - bleeding heart? I have no Defense because there is No Defense Needed or Required. If I thought for a moment that I could make you understand, and give up your animal rights religious views, I would spend time Explaining It (versus Defending). But that would be a waste of my time, "because you cannot teach those who will not learn" ... that's Plato for you. You are besotted with your warm and fuzzy, animal crackers, stuffed animal FEELINGS about animals. Worse, you have an Absolute Belief in your Moral Superiority to anyone who disagrees. You may be suffering from delusions, or you may simply be a victim of propaganda that fills some empty part of your emotional life. Whatever, I won't waste my time dealing with it. So get some professional help please.

Mark FitzSimmons DVM    
Minnesota  |  August, 10, 2012 at 04:24 PM

Michael, thank you for you're oops your defense in my failure to word check my comments. Do you know what they call someone not smart enough to get into veterinary college? A Licensed Veterinary Technician. Ms Weeks looks like you really called out your friends to help hammer home the message. But I will have to agree with Michael on his explanation of defending "blunt force trauma" as a humane method of euthanizing them. The mere fact that these pigs exist is what troubles you. As for the others that have called for a return to the old ways of raising pigs the piglets in these systems are risk of be killed every day by their mothers crushing them. So I am afraid you will not be able to side with those that have stated in there, oops caught that one again Davy, their own words that nothing short of the use of animals for anything (EXCEPT what they might condone) is ACCEPTABLE. The advances in modern agriculture have allowed fewer farmers to provide food for more and more people. These practices have not pushed farmers off the farms the old out dated jobs and chores were abandoned by young people fleeing to the cities to avoid the long hours and grueling conditions. So I would put a challenge to all those that Michael has accurately described here as believing they are morally superior to the rest of us that you grow your own food (ALL of it) so as not to chance that it does not fulfill your requirements of morality. I say again to anyone willing to listen we did not treat animals more humanely decades ago than we do today. So any of you saying you will still eat meat but want it raised like it was decades ago will have to raise your own because any caring person will not do it that way. Need to go my steak is done.

Mark FitzSimmons DVM    
Minnesota  |  August, 10, 2012 at 04:49 PM

Susan first get your facts correct before regurgitating them. There are no such things as "Rape racks" if you had half the sense that God had given you left you would know that inseminating a female mammal of any species when she is not receptive to mating (meaning she would allow a male of that species to breed her willingly) will not result in a pregnancy. Which as you know is the reason we would choose to inseminate a female. As for all the DEFENDING and name calling in the last half of your comment it appears to me that it seems to be ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!!! Seems like the non-profit part of your agenda needs some defending. But I understand that all of the money HSUS raises is for the cause not the people. Right? As mentioned before I think nearly $11 million for executive pensions in one year?

Jersey Shore  |  August, 10, 2012 at 08:48 PM

To Susan Willard aka HSUS Re: The same old, stale, misleading, desperate defense of your favorite cult- plus added hysteria. a) demonize and attack all HSUS critics as animal abusers or jealous supporters of other, inferior organizations. b) Bring up all the alleged rave reviews of HSUS by charity watchdogs, ignoring the only respected one, Charity Watch, that gives you D grades, Animal People, that concurs with Charity Watch and has for 2 decades; the special issue of Worth Magazine on charities that listed HSUS in the top 10 WORST charities. FACT CHECK of a) First of all, the egg deal doesn't get hens out of battery cages, it increases the space from one sheet of paper'sa worth to two...within 18 years. It is opposed by many respected people in the field, not just HFA. Hammering out deals in secret with a price-fixing scandal ridden factory farm group is worse than doing nothing. I recommend that non-cult members read "Who Really Benefits From the HSUS-UEP Egg Deal" by Michele Simon of Food Safety News. She's an HSUS supporter who thinks the deal sucks. There are many more activists like her that also think the deal stinks to hog heaven. 2. I have no tie to Berman and, in all fake modesty, I know more about HSUS than his organization does. I've been an animal welfare activist since leaving college almost 20 years ago. I was even an HSUS, and PETA member - very briefly. I like PETA better. 3. If "Wino" refers to Winograd, there's nothing I can say. Whoever wrote those remarks you typed is JEALOUS and THREATENED by someone who sees through Pacelle's tired schtick and has created an alternative movement that has done more to help animals than HSUS ever has.

Jersey Shore  |  August, 10, 2012 at 09:04 PM

FACT CHECKING Part B of the standard and irrelevant HSUS arguments to their critics Charity Navigator is the least respected watchdog group and even they are aware they botched the latest HSUS rating. Charity Navigator is a factory evaluator, with no time to do any analysis. Rating 6000 charities with a small staff means not reading past page 1 of IRS tax returns. HSUS has cooked it's books for decades, but when Pacelle took over, the creative accounting crossed the line into fraud. The Better Business Bureau's cash-strapped Wise Giving Alliance received documented evidence of the fraud and ordered HSUS to stop allocating tens of millions in fundraising expenses to program services. HSUS HAD NO CHOICE but to double it's reporting fundraising costs for 2008, but went right back to cooking the books in order to regain the desperately needed 4 star rating so they could mention it every time someone criticizes them. Charity Navigator is cringing, Pacelle is laughing at them. I encourage everyone on this blog to e-mail Charity Navigator with their thoughts about HSUS claiming to spend 4% on 600 enmployees and 16% on fundraising instead of the actual 48% that the only respected evaluator, Charity Watch calculates. Charity Watch gives HSUS D grades, and Animal People News concurs; both think Charity Navigator's robo-ratings do more harm than good re prospective donors. Worth Magazine did a special issue on Charities in December 2002 and HSUS made the 10 WORST list. The 2009 1 page article the now gutted Worth wrote was based entirely on Charity Navigator.

Jersey Shore  |  August, 11, 2012 at 03:18 PM

Michael: I agree with you about not walking on eggshells to avoid the hypocritical ire of the militant hypocrites at HSUS. I hope you agree with me that CEO Neil Dierks should not have basically apologized for the "inappropriate comments" made to the National Journal by the NPPC staffer. Better to call Pacelle and company out on own their history of vitriolic, sometimes libelous attacks on critics (Susan Willard's statements here are a typical example of this). UEP's price fixing history has been exposed. How about HSUS's many scandals and documented history of LYING about where donations actually go and even about it's membership numbers. An organization that claims 11 million members (the real number is under one million) in order to bamboozle the media, big donors and indimidate legislators - both local and national - to do their bidding, has no credibility. Agree?

Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 11, 2012 at 06:18 PM

Hi Pat, are we to assume you are in the same camp as Michael and the DVM, or "doctor" of veterinary "medicine," Mark FitzSimmons who claim it's perfectly "humane" to "euthanize" healthy piglets by slamming their heads on cement and who support keeping pregnant pigs captive their entire lives in iron cages barely larger than their own bodies? (Note: "doctor" and "medicine" are in quotes because most reasonable people believe that doctors who practice medicine do so to heal--not to kill healthy baby animals. "Euthanize" is also in quotes because the word actually means "good death," and most reasonable people think killing healthy baby animals by bludgeoning them to death hardly represents anything "good.") What camp ARE you in?

Jersey Shore  |  August, 11, 2012 at 07:51 PM

Reply to Janet Weeks: It is clear from my comments that I am in the animal welfare/animal rights camp, specifically the credibility and consistency camps. You know that, but you choose to demonize me as an abuse supporter. What utter crapola! Your suggestion that I believe in bashing pigs to death and torturing hens is a classic HSUS distraction. You also pretend that Nathan Winograd is tied to puppy mills and AKC breeders. Does he support rape racks too? I support HFA; the HSUS acolytes claim that organization does nothing meaningful for farm animals. Bull. I've read Temple Grandin's books. She agrees with HSUS on some issues, but strongly differs on horse slaughter and disagrees with the overuse of litigation to achieve your goals. Is she a horse torturer?

Janet Weeks V    
Sacramento, CA  |  August, 12, 2012 at 01:18 PM

For someone who claims to be "in the animal welfare/animal rights camp," I'd say you have a strange way of showing it. Rather than support the most prominent, most successful, and best supported animal advocacy organization in the nation, HSUS, you choose to vilify them and support a minor little splinter group instead. Well, good luck with that. Did you know: ‎"Just this year, we’ve seen a slew of major food retailers decide to phase out their purchases of pork from producers that confine sows in gestation crates. The veal industry has agreed to phase out crates by 2017, and more than 70 percent of that transition has already been completed. The egg industry has agreed to support federal legislation to phase out the use of the barren battery cage as well require a labeling program that gives consumers more information about production practices. The latest major announcement came in late July from the National Milk Producers Federation, one of the industry’s major trade associations, which has voted to officially oppose the inhumane practice of dairy cow tail-docking. We achieved the first state ban on tail docking in California–the number-one dairy producing state–in 2009, and then subsequently won bans in Ohio and Rhode Island. Now the industry’s biggest trade group has come out against the practice on a nationwide basis." -- Wayne Pacelle Meanwhile, with theirs and your divisive actions, what concrete improvements have you and your splinter groups achieved for animals? http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2012/08/cow-tail-docking.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fhsus%2Fwayne+%28Wayne+Pacelle%3A+A+Humane+Nation%29

Jersey Shore  |  August, 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM

When a prospective business partner, educator, friend, or lover proclaims themselves to be the most successful, effective and all-around greatest - while denigrating others - I say: HUCKSTER ALERT. Hide your heart and wallet! Bernie Madoff used similar hyperbole, and also bragged about his 4 star-ish ratings from the SEC...while mocking their ineptitude and smirking that the fix was in. Thanks for confirming that HSUS is a farm animal lobbying group. Matt Prescott, poached from PETA, is doing the same stuff he and Ingrid told me about for years in fundraising letters. Some is good. If you manage to persuade that cool dude Dan Shannon to join up, I might be impressed. He was great on "Red Eye" and he's not into Vick transformations. UEP "agreeing to support federal legislation" isn't a victory, unless the legislation passes. That is unlikely, so hold the applause. Smithfield agreed FIVR YEARS AGO to phase out crates by 2017, and then flip-flopped. HSUS filing a lawsuit and formal complaints resulted in a reversal. OK, but it underscores the weakness of these approaches. Anyone who thinks the HSUS emperors have no clothes is called divisive and ends up vilified by Pacelle and his Barnetts. I find that mindset offensive. HSUS isn't the leader in the field, no matter how many times you claim it to be so. And insisting on movement unity is just fascism with a smiley face. Read HFA's new color brochure/Quarterly Report if you want to know what concrete improvements the 250,000 member "splinter group" has achieved. And why aren't you attending the No-Kill Splinter Conference this weekend? You need to get some new material so you can do a better job trying/failing to destroy well run charities.

Bowling Green KY  |  August, 15, 2012 at 09:02 AM

Thank you Janet. I work as a secretary at a Kentucky University and I too oppose gestation crates. I am not vegan, but I am vegetarian and have been since 1995. One of the saddest things I ever experienced was driving in back of a truck full of pigs headed to slaughter and hearing their cries. Yes, I would love for people to stop eating animals but in the meantime, treating them as humanely as possible while raising them as something to be consumed is the best I can do. I ask those who raise animals to treat them with compassion. They're not just a product to be bought, sold and eaten. They too are a creation of God and it is our duty to care for them.

Ca  |  August, 22, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Pat, write on bro. Look at the extent the HSUS will go to. http://www.consumerfreedom.com/2010/02/4111-federal-racketeering-lawsuit-stuns-hsus/ Paying someone to lie in federal court!!! Janet the truth will hurt as we the members of the real animal rights groups, not the shell of a profit money grabbing group like the HSUS, carries this fight. HSUS's lack of support to our local pet shelters is beyond belief. We visit so many people in the area that are confused when we tell them that the money they send to HSUS does not end helping the animals on your commercials. Many have elected to keep their donations closer to home.

Salt Lake City, Utah  |  August, 25, 2012 at 09:16 PM

I'm a meat eater and I find the recent quotes and the way these pigs are treated to be despicable. True humane standards must be put into place for the health of both the animals and the workers that are around them on a daily basis. This kind of treatment is bad for the human spirit. Be nice.

DesMoines,ia  |  January, 23, 2013 at 01:25 PM

I agree with you keep on fighting for what you beleive in.

Toronto, On  |  May, 10, 2013 at 07:02 AM

It's "accept" not "except" you moron.


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